SAMWU concerned by Covid-19 deaths in the Eastern Cape

22 MAY 2020

SAMWU concerned by Covid-19 deaths in the Eastern Cape

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in the Eastern Cape Province has learnt with shock and devastating news on the deaths of municipal workers. Both employees from Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay Metros are our members who had contracted the virus.

We send our heartfelt and sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of both employees. We further wish a speedy recovery to all workers and South Africans who have contracted the virus.

With the increase of cases in the province, there has been a consequential increase in infections among municipal worker particularly in Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Metros as well as Ulundi and Chris Hani District Municipalities.

Occupational Health and Safety Act enforces employers to give employees all necessary measures in protecting employees in health hazards environment.

We therefore reiterate the national union’s call that all municipalities in the province must provide the following measures in protecting workers:
• Protective clothing must be provided to workers before they resume work.
• Masks, sanitizers and gloves must be provided to workers before they perform their duties.
• Decontamination of Municipal Buildings and vehicles
• Compulsory screening and testing must be done to all employees.
• Above 60 years must stay at home
• Employees with Chronic diseases must stay at home and employer must move from tendency of wanting to know the chronic disease of our employees we this is victimisation of highest order, if employee come with the letter from Doctor or from clinic that is confirmed with chronic disease that must be enough.
We further calling upon our members and employees in general to take all necessary precautionary measures in protecting themselves during this period both in the workplace and outside workplace.

We are observing that some employers within the province are not complying with both the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Health Department’s Covid-19 regulations and as such we call upon our members to not resume duties if all necessary precautionary measures are not adhered by employers.

All of the union’s structures in the province are to be vigilant and guard the interests of municipal workers during this time by making sure that employers are complying with relevant legislations in protecting our members and municipal workers. We cannot allow a situation wherein we allow municipal workers to be sent to slaughterhouses.

We once more repeat, all municipal workers should not work if there is no correct and required PPE provided to them. No PPE, no work!

Issued by SAMWU Eastern Cape

Luzuko Yalezo
Provincial Secretary
071 628 7586